There are two normal headsets. You should keep one of each in your sock drawer, just in case the industry decides to pull the plug on them. One is a threaded headset. There are technically 4 main types of threaded headsets, not that you asked, but I’m tellin’ anyway. 1” standard, found on road bikes for roughly the last 100 years. These can have small variations, like thread pitch or crown race diameter, but they’re all very similar. Then BMX bikes came out, used 1” threaded headsets, but for who knows what reason, decided to make the cup diameter very marginally different. Don’t get a BMX headset and try to stick it on your classic 80’s road bike. Won’t work. Then, the 90’s hit. Suddenly all sorts of things that didn’t make sense before suddenly made sense, at least from a marketing standpoint. Jansport backpacks hanging down to your thighs. Huge flannel shirts. Jeans with manufactured holes in them. And of course, shoes with lights in them. Gotta have that. Bike makers started to increase diameters in tubing. With that came bigger threaded headsets. 1 ⅛, then the mythical, very dumb 1 ¼ threaded headset. If you need one of those, look on ebay. I can’t get it for you. That’s the 4 threaded headsets. The one you most likely want is a BSA threaded 1” headset with a 26.4 crown race. If you have a cheap ole 80’s Japanese bike, you might need a 27mm crown race. Get some calipers, and measure!
Back to the normal headset that you should keep in your sock drawer. Back in the day we just called these Aheadset style headsets, Aheadset being the company that invented it. Now you can call it a 1 ⅛ threadless headset, or an EC34 / EC 34 headset, and people will know what you are on about.
Good headsets have the following attributes:
Sealed bearings. If you live where it rains, and you don’t take your whole bike apart yearly to rebuild the bearings, you want sealed bearings. The best ones for a headset are angular contact. Simply put, normal sealed bearings are made to take radial loads. Wheels take radial loads, mainly. Hits from on direction. Angular contact bearings can take radial loads, but are set up to also take impacts from oblique angles. Essentially imagine the bearing having 4 bearing races, equally spaced around the bearing, at the ‘corners’ of the bearing.
Rebuildable and Replaceable bearings. Good bearings last a long time. They’re affordable, even good ones, so if you forget maintenance for 5 years and they’re trashed, just get new ones. But if you want, you can occasionally pop the seals off good bearings and repack them with fresh mint jelly. Works a treat. Don’t do that. Use Crystal Grease. Bearings do occasionally need replaced though, even fancy ones from brands that rhyme with this thing. Trouble is, that brands’ bearings are only serviceable. Which means you better like the sound of creaking, cause your bike is gunna sound like a pirate ship in a storm in about five years to a decade, whether you like it or not.
Headsets should look nice. The Rollcii headset hits all of those attributes. And it’s affordable. Double word score. Fun colors galore.
Made in Taiwan.
Comes with top cap and star nut.
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